Queens Park Rangers reach $55 million settlement with English Football League over financial fair play
Queens Park Rangers, a club owned by Tony Fernandes and Lakshmi Mittal, has reached an agreement with the English Football League over FFP violations.
London: Championship side QPR have reached a settlement worth almost £42 million ($55 million) with the English Football League and accepted a transfer ban in January after a legal battle over the club's breach of spending limits.
Last October, an arbitration panel ruled that QPR's fine of $55 million for over-spending during the 2013/14 season, which saw them promoted to the Premier League, was not proportionate. The London club lodged an appeal against the decision but, in a joint statement, the two parties have announced they have reached an agreement to effectively restructure the fine.
QPR will now pay the league $22 million for the Financial Fair Play breach and $3.9 million for the league's legal costs. The balance of the original fine, $28.8 million, will be sorted out by QPR's owners by converting outstanding loans to the club into shares.
It is understood the payment schedule is over 10 years. None of the payments to the EFL will be taken into account when calculating the amounts QPR are allowed to spend on players and wages in the coming seasons but manager Steve McClaren will not be allowed to register any new players in this season's winter transfer window.
"The outcome vindicates the approach of the EFL board in defending the challenge to our rules," said EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey, adding, "in agreeing to the settlement above, the board was conscious that the financial burden placed on the club had to be manageable."
Earlier this year, Bournemouth and Leicester agreed to pay smaller fines for overspending during their promotion seasons. The QPR case hinged on the belief of their owners, airline tycoon Tony Fernandes and steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, that they had circumvented the rules by writing off a $78.6 million loan to the club, an "exceptional item" that brought QPR's losses for the season below $13 million.
The EFL rejected this, believing it would set a precedent that would undermine its attempts to control spending. "QPR felt it was best to put this matter behind them to enable all parties to have certainty and allow us to continue focusing on running the club in a sustainable manner," said QPR chief executive Lee Hoos.
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